ACT Best of Canberra Mountain Bike Experience Workshops

Scotty T

Likes Dirt
Faaaark this totally slipped off my radar, I sent a late note:

Hi there,

I realise that I'm late on the submission, I had thought the date was extended until end of October but now realise it was September. I hope my submission can be accepted.

I have been mountain biking for 29 years, and have lived in Canberra for the last 19 years. A major reason I moved here was the mountain biking. I live 3km from Stromlo and ride there every week at least once. I ride other trails in Canberra regularly and have participated in trail building days with Kowalski Brothers.

I think our facilities are very good, and for generalist and some speciliast moutain biking we are well catered for, however there are things I would like to see to improve mountain biking in Canberra. I agree with the consensus in the MTB community that we've lagged a little compared to other mtb destinations Australia wide and that we're struggling to offer the variety and size of other mtb parks and trail networks. We also have a number of scattered destinations, none of which have the full MTB park experience which is a very large market now, compared to say 20 years ago when Thredbo and Buller were the only MTB "parks" as such.

Stromlo is the main attraction for Canberra mountain biking. The facility is excellent and the trail networks continue to expand. An accommodation opportunity for a business to provide on-site accomodation would be a good development. I realise a lot of other people are talking about linking Stromlo out to the Brindabellas. I think this is a fantastic idea, and I believe that it can be done without adversely impacting other user groups and land owners if carefully negotiated with those stakeholders. Perhaps it could even run directly alongside the pipeline that goes out to Cotter so as to have minimal impact due to being on land that the government currently uses for the pipeline. This would attract people who want to do large distances with plenty of climbing and descending, currently Stromlo is limiting for this type of riding so connecting a trail network in the Brindabellas where there is more elevation would suit this.

The other type of riding is gravity based with shuttles, I like the idea of expanding the shuttle service to work out of Cotter for fast shuttling to Brindabella downhill runs. Personally I would suggest three different skill level runs from the higest convenient shuttling point to Cotter. Public facilities like parking and toilets exist at Cotter already so it would not require any infrastructure to cater to this type of riding. I think this covers the moutain bike park aspect, plus there is a much wider variety of terrain option in the native forest that would provide a different experience to the still recovering from bushfires Stromlo. I feel that with the right investment and planning Canberra could excel and reach a higher level than other current popular destinations, because we have a major city fringed with several riding destinations within 20 km of each other which some other parks lack being located in more rural areas.

Other places in Canberra are adequate for what they are and are being well managed by communities working with government and stakeholders (eg. Bruce Ridge, Majura, Sparrow), however I would like to see investment in some pine forest to exclude them from logging in favour of MTB trails. Particularly Majura because of it's proximity to the city, historical significance to MTB and small parcel of land compared to other local plantation areas. I was a bit stunned to see Majura clear felled recently as I was under the impression it was now a mountain bike destination, very disappointing. It becomes impossible to ride these open field trails in hot weather, so the destination gets avoided altogether. There is scope for expansion of some of these trails around Canberra however most are at a good balance in my opinion offering a quick blast for people wanting something different to Stromlo. Radiata Pine can grow 80-90 years, it would be awesome to have some of our pine forests mature and become the unique trail riding experience that these forest offer. People travel world wide to ride in mature native pine forests.

Again I hope this can be accepted and if not at least show some support for similar ideas that have been floated in the Canberra MTB community.

Regards,
Scotty T - Rivett resident.
 

Tubbsy

quadragenarian
Staff member
Nice work @Scotty T

I'm sure while they're not accepting submissions any more, the fact that you're adding support to ideas floated by others will only help.
 

droenn

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Interesting view on the pine forests @Scotty T - my idea would be to keep the pine forests as active logging plantations and use them for MTB recreation during that period. If there are a few harvest periods, then the trails need to be modified/rebuilt (like at Kowen) after planting of next lot of trees. At the end of it (which could be a span of decades), they should be restored to bushland as best as possible. We don't need permanent pine forests around the place, imo (except perhaps the Arboretum which serves a different purpose) - even if they do provide nice shade in summer...
 

Scotty T

Likes Dirt
Interesting view on the pine forests @Scotty T - my idea would be to keep the pine forests as active logging plantations and use them for MTB recreation during that period. If there are a few harvest periods, then the trails need to be modified/rebuilt (like at Kowen) after planting of next lot of trees. At the end of it (which could be a span of decades), they should be restored to bushland as best as possible. We don't need permanent pine forests around the place, imo (except perhaps the Arboretum which serves a different purpose) - even if they do provide nice shade in summer...
Yeah I was just thinking of how we could have something unique with existing forests. But thinking about your view a permanent monoculture not serving a commercial purpose is inherently a waste of space. Much better invested in making sustainable trails in native bush.
 
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